Sunday, August 4, 2013

Unfortunately Animated And Assembled-Looking, The 2013 Man Of Steel Ornament Disappoints!

The Good: Generally good sculpt, Basic coloring
The Bad: Obvious seam, Mediocre balance, Flesh coloring is incredibly simple
The Basics: Trying to sell on the hype of Man Of Steel, the new Man Of Steel Hallmark ornament poorly recreates the new Henry Cavill version of Superman.

When it comes to Hallmark ornaments, I find there are some that suffer from a weird disparity; being based on a film based on an animated work, but looking more like a comic book character than the cinematic reference. That is exactly the problem with the 2013 Man Of Steel ornament.

Hallmark and DC created an ornament that is evocative of the film persona of Henry Cavill as Superman for the Man Of Steel ornament. Using early images from Man Of Steel (reviewed here!), Hallmark sculpted a very basic Superman ornament with only a general similarity to Henry Cavill. While the ornament features molded details and general coloring that helps indicate this is supposed to be the Man Of Steel version of Superman, the facial sculpt does not look at all like Henry Cavill.


The Man Of Steel ornament faithfully presents Superman in his blue and red film costume. This is the Superman in his textured blue and red suit, yellow belt and red cape. The ornament, released in 2013, is fair for an ornament based upon the costume used in Zack Snyder’s Superman film. With such a rich three-dimensional model, Hallmark was able to create an ornament that features decent surface details and coloring. Measuring four inches tall, three and a quarter inches wide and three and one-quarter inches deep, the Man Of Steel ornament is one of three DC super hero-based ornaments released by Hallmark in stores (there was a San Diego Comic Con exclusive one as well) in 2013, but it has a serious flaw. The Man Of Steel ornament has a pretty deep seam at the leg and butt juncture. The Man Of Steel ornament came with an original retail price of $14.95 and I suspect that there will be plenty left over at the end of the season.

The Hallmark Man Of Steel ornament is made of durable plastic. Superman’s costume is colored in bold blue and muted yellow. He is ripped with well-defined stomach and leg muscles underneath his costume. The Man Of Steel ornament has the traditional Superman symbol on his chest and it is molded in to negate any potential paint issues.

Man Of Steel features a Superman who looks more like the animated character than Henry Cavill. The skin tones are monotonal as opposed to having rich coloring, which is unfortunate and undermines the potential realism of this ornament.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Man Of Steel could have a sound chip or a light-up function. He has neither, but honestly it would have been a hard sell to make a gimmick for this ornament.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Man Of Steel ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate superhero Christmas Tree, the Man Of Steel ornament would be great if it wasn’t back-heavy. The ornament has the standard metal hook loop embedded into the top of Superman’s cape at a pretty obvious position. From there, the ornament, when affixed to a tree with a hook, swings very easily.


Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (reviewed here!). Since then, they have made ornament replicas of almost all major franchises like DC comics, The Wizard Of Oz and Harry Potter. The Man Of Steel ornament just began selling a few weekends ago and it has been selling very slowly, at least locally. Given the mixed reactions to the film itself, it is hard to believe this ornament will be a sell-out and appreciate in value any time soon.


Fans of Superman, Zack Snyder’s vision of Superman, Henry Cavill, and DC comics characters are likely to find the Man Of Steel ornament to be only a mediocre representation of their beloved hero. Given how many Superman ornaments Hallmark has produced over the years, there are far better options for the fans than this one.

For other DC Universe superhero Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2013 Descending Upon Gotham City Batman ornament
2012 The Bat The Dark Knight Rises Limited Edition Ornament
2012 Catwoman ornament
2012 "Beware My Power" Green Lantern ornament
2012 The Dark Knight Rises
2011 Batman Takes Flight
2011 Green Lantern
2010 Limited Edition Harley Quinn
2009 Wonder Woman ornament


For other ornament reviews, please visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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